Take a glimpse into the best Asian Michelin star restaurants in NYC. We aim to bring you some of the best Michelin-star Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Sushi restaurants, all serving dishes prepared by top chefs and deemed to be worthy of that all-too-coveted star.
But before we cross the threshold of the 13 top Michelin star Asian restaurants in the Big Apple, let’s take a look at how the Michelin star system works.
How The Star System Works
For a restaurant to earn one Michelin star, the guide refers to them as “a very good restaurant”; two stars means “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”; and three stars is “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey”.
Michelin takes into account the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed in their cuisine and, just as importantly, consistency over time and across the entire menu.
Asian cuisine is not only huge but varies widely from region to region. You get the formal and reverent ceremonies of Japanese eating which are ritual-like experiences to the more social experiences of Chinese and Korean cultural eating styles.
Michelin Star Korean Restaurants In NYC
Atomix – Korean – 2 stars
Address: 104 E. 30th St., NYC
Owners Junghyun Park and his wife Ellia not only serve an exquisite multi-course menu but have curated a wonderful restaurant inside a Gramercy brownstone. Diners are led into a lounge for pre-dinner drinks and snacks before seating at a 14-seat counter. Attention to detail is key, from the chopsticks to the beautiful bowls.
For the dishes, think elegance, satisfying but delicacy. The banchan is said to be a signature dish. Ingredients are sourced all over: Australian abalone, Hokkaido uni or Wagyu from Miyazaki and are superb. A lovely touch is that custom-designed cards explain the make-up of each dish and the inspiration behind it is presented with each course.
Jungsik – Korean/Contemporary – 2 stars
Address: 2 Harrison St., NYC
Serving westward-leaning Korean cuisine, Jungsik conjures up some wonderful sauces which are not out of place in a contemporary kitchen. The Bibimbap of gochujang, crispy quinoa and tender Wagyu beef tartare is memory-making, while the branzino served with white kimchi is the perfect blend of traditional ingredients.
The restaurant is cool, crisp and elegant and divided up into smaller intimate spaces. The service team is sharp, keen and efficient. The decor is simple, sensual and sophisticated. Cited by the Michelin Guide in the Best Korean Restaurants in NYC.
Kochi – Contemporary Korean – 1 star
Address: 652 10th Ave, NYC
KOCHI is Korean for ‘skewer’. Featuring an 8-course tasting menu of skewered dishes as well as menu items inspired by traditional Korean cuisine that’s built around seasonality and balance.
Their menu is influenced by traditional Korean flavours given a modern twist. Local seasonal ingredients and balanced flavours are Chef Sungchul Shim’s speciality. Signature dishes include black sea bass, spicy grilled chicken and Nurungji cheesecake, or go for the 10-course Chef’s tasting menu.
Jeju Noodle Bar – Korean – 1 star
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Address: 679 Greenwich St
This Korean noodle bar focuses on ramyun (noodle soups). Named after the South Korean island that’s renowned for its high-quality pork, this corner “bar” aims to take that nation’s comfort food and elevate it to sophisticated heights. As envisioned by Chef/owner Douglas Kim, the kitchen specialises in ramyun and not ramen.
The dining space mixes old West Village charm with minimalism for a casual, hip and convivial experience. Spaced tables are juxtaposed with a counter where diners can watch each dish come together.
Try the Persian cucumber kimchi with a spicy plum dressing, shiso and sesame seeds. The pork bone broth is said to be very good. The gochu ramyun brimming with curly noodles, bean sprouts and pickled cabbage and toro ssam bap are not to be missed.
Michelin Star Japanese Restaurants In NYC
The traditional cuisine (washoku) of Japan is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes. There is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth. Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura.
Masa – Japanese/Sushi – 3 stars
Address: 10 Columbus Circle, NYC
Said to be North America’s best sushi, this dining experience is quiet, contemplative and very exclusive. Chef Masa Takayama takes omakase rev seriously and it shows. The space is calm in the midst of blonde hinoki wood and a large forsythia tree. Diners could be forgiven for forgetting they are on the fourth floor of a mall.
Chef Masayoshi Takayama brings the masterful skill, quality and refined beauty of Japanese cuisine to New York City. Only 26 diners at a time can be seated in the sleek, windowless space around the bar. Dishes are prepared with seasonal ingredients and dining can often last more than two hours. Try the chef’s signature glass coupe of minced toro and a very fine but generous pile of Osetra caviar. The chef’s selection of sushi is unrivalled and the quality of fish is top-drawer.
Uchu – Sushi – 2 stars
Address: 217 Eldridge St., NYC
Uchū Sushi Bar’s Japanese dining experience is delivered at a 10-seat sushi counter located in the heart of the Lower East Side. Guest find themselves leaving the bustling city behind and entering a serene oasis. Served by legendary Chef Eiji Ichimura, diners are treated to the finest ingredients and highest quality fish. The decor is minimalist, a nod to classic Japanese design.
Hirohisa – Classic Japanese cuisine – 1 star
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Address: 73 Thompson St., NYC
With family roots in the restaurant industry going back over a century in Japan, Chef Hirohisa Hayashi was born into a culinary world. Located in the SoHo neighbourhood, Chef Hayashi unites the thoughtful ceremony and seasonality of kappo, kaiseki cuisine. He is also a certified Sake Sommelier, so the beverage offerings are not to be missed.
Michelin Star Chinese Restaurants In NYC
Each local cuisine has its own characteristics, but Chinese cuisine as a whole is divided into four major schools – Shandong, Sichuan, Huaiyang, and Guangdong (Cantonese). Sichuan cuisine is dominant in NYC. Most common flavours include hot and spicy, five fragrances, mixed spices, chilli and Chinese prickly ash, and hot and sour. Famous Sichuan dishes include spicy pork shreds, diced chicken with peanuts and vegetables, chicken cubes in mixed spices, bean curd (Tofu).
Cafe China – Chinese – 1 star
Address: 59 W 37th St., NYC
Set in a beautiful vintage setting, Café China specialises in Sichuan classics. Now in a new location, Café Chin consists of 3 levels in a 1930s brick building on a bustling Midtown block. The restaurant’s menu boasts new and longtime-favourite Sichuan dishes, as well as unique and traditional cuisine from other regions in China.
Daxi – Sichuan Chinese – 1 star
Address: 136-20 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, NYC
In an elegant space on the second floor of the New World Mall, Da Xi favours a more nuanced approach to regional Chinese cuisine, think slivers of cold marinated duck in a pool of fiery chilli-infused oil. Try the pig ear and wild mushroom or cucumber roll bearing subtle flavours, while Tibet-style pork ribs dusted with peppercorns are tender and juicy.
There are as many good Asian restaurants as there are yellow taxis in New York. But the Michelin star Asian restaurants NYC offers are the cream of the crop from break-the-bank to relatively reasonable.
Sebastian is a former hedge fund trader who worked only to indulge his true passion – food.
He has dined at over 240 Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, savoring culinary masterpieces and understanding the stories behind them. He now advises restaurants on menu design, decor and holistic diner experience.
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- How The Star System Works
- Michelin Star Korean Restaurants In NYC
- Michelin Star Japanese Restaurants In NYC
- Michelin Star Chinese Restaurants In NYC